Tenerife Towns

Last February, I walked all over La Laguna, La Orotava, and Santa Cruz, the capital, sort of urban trekking, if you will. La Laguna and La Orotava are little towns, both filled with colonial-era architecture and historic character. La Laguna is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its colonial buildings: homes, churches, public spaces. The mostly sixteenth to nineteenth century houses are generally a bit shabby by now, but they are still filled with memories of mariners stopping over during voyages from the Continent to points west and South.

La Laguna 2 (28)
La Laguna 2 (27)
La Laguna 2 (33)

The famous Teatro Leal, below. La Laguna 2 (41)

The image below is of the Real Santuario del Santísimo Cristo de La Laguna, widely considered to be the holiest place in the islands because of the crucifix believed to be gifted from Seville in the sixteenth century.
La Laguna (2)

La Laguna (6)

It also boasts perhaps the prettiest statue of Mary that exists anywhere, certainly the prettiest one I’ve seen.
La Laguna (4)

Orotava is also very photogenic, with the Atlantic Ocean as its backdrop.
La Orotava (50)

La Orotava (25)
La Orotava (34) And interestingly, the little town has a morning bread delivery. Look closely at the photo above, then at the detail below. La Orotava (35)

My arrival in Tenerife conicided with the start of Carnaval. Good news for partiers, as Santa Cruz’s Carnaval is considered second only to Rio’s! I’m not much of a party animal, but I didn’t mind; I visited Santa Cruz on one of the quiet days, so I missed the craziness but got to see some of the color anyway — the best of both worlds!
Santa Cruz (31) Santa Cruz (9)Part of  the local color was especially colorful. Look closely; these are fellas in drag. They were dancing some mean salsa in those dresses, and one was singing his heart out.
Santa Cruz (88) Santa Cruz (94)

Santa Cruz is a beauty in her own right. A very modern port city with an auditorium to rival Sydney’s (well, almost), art and architectural treats galore, it’s a must-see.
Santa Cruz (30)

Below, see some examples of aforementioned art and architecture; it is an inspiring city, indeed.

Santa Cruz (37)
Santa Cruz (100) Santa Cruz (2)
Santa Cruz (24)

Santa Cruz (97)
It also boasts a beautiful market. I wish I could share the smells from the herbalists there; those were intoxicating!
Santa Cruz (77)

Santa Cruz (72)
Santa Cruz (69)

Santa Cruz (65)
Santa Cruz (71)

Highly recommended, but if you go around Carnaval, it won’t be like summer. It will be comfortable, but not beach weather. Be aware, also, that Carnaval changes everything, especially in Santa Cruz. If you’re a big partier, you’ll love it. If you aren’t, maybe you should schedule your trip for another time.

By the way, if you read this post and COMMENT on it, I will enter your name in a drawing to win a box of BELGIAN CHOCOLATES. Thanks for reading!

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About Sunny

I'm an American with a Spanish heart, and one foot in France. But both feet are in Belgium, along with the rest of me.
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4 Responses to Tenerife Towns

  1. annakachina says:

    Très beau séjour et belles photos !

  2. Maureen says:

    I had no idea that Santa Cruz’s carnival was 2nd only to Rio’s. Thanks for sharing such great photos.

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